Business Lunch

Today couldn’t go by without giving major props to Joel.

We left the orphanage today to go to a restaurant in Phnom Penh for a business lunch that Pastor Vek was hosting.  The format of the meeting was business men and women who are friends of people who attend the church were invited to hear how having God in their life can help them in life and in business.  During the talk Joel shared his testimony, which was translated into Khmer and it was shared with about 100 people.  Later today Joel said he felt like a conduit of God during the talk because at that time 66 people accepted Jesus as their savior and another 30 asked to hear more.  Can you believe it!!!???!!???  How awesome is that???

Joel, you rock!

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10 days…

So many emotions when I hear 10 days.

  • One is disbelief.  There is such a difference when we are over there that it almost feels like a dream. Like I want to go but 10 days isn’t a reality.  Only a dream.  
  • Two is scared.  Sooooo much has to be done between now and then.  The team needs to raise money, I need to pack (and pack and pack), what am I forgetting about…
  • Three is I have too much to get done.  When I see a list I get overwhelmed.  I have to get it all done right now, no time to waste.  I was horrible in college on the first day I always had a panic attack.  The professor would give me the syllabus and I never thought I would complete the entire thing by the end of the semester.  Inevitably I would have a break down but then I would get thru that and love the semester and pass with flying colors.  This feels like the same thing.  I need to remember to do one thing at a time.
  • Forth is pure excitement, I CAN’T WAIT!!!  These kids are the loves of my life (and I’m pretty sure I can speak for everyone on the team who has already been that this is the same for all).  And, I can’t wait to see them again, hug them, and tell them how much they are loved.  Even for just 1 week.
For the next 10 days please be praying for the emotions of the team.  I still don’t know how we will all fully be prepared before we hop on the plane, but as my devotional said today, its not for me to understand:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Encouragement from Kamaria…

Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD (Psalm 102:18)
It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing to you for 2 1/2 months, and that you are less than two weeks from your departure. I’m so glad God placed you all on my heart and hope that I have encouraged you. For my last email I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to live for the next Generation. I’m starting to think like a parent as I am seeing the sobering reality that even if I have no natural children I have spiritual children. Our life of faith is not just for us but generations after us who will be affected by the decisions we make today. I want to leave a legacy like the Levites who did not partake of the natural inheritance of the twelve tribes of Israel, but their inheritance was the Lord.
   
1 The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the LORD, for that is their inheritance. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them. ( Deuteronomy 18:1)
 
 
 Let’s look at Moses life again but in a different light. I once read a church sign once that said “Don’t be discouraged, Moses was a basket case too”. Moses was an imperfect man with anger issues, but when you think about it I don’t know anyone who could have handled the Israelites the way he did. Imagine an over-sized van filled with bad kids going to Disneyland. The children keep distracting you and you have to take your eyes off the road to discipline them, causing the van to swerve and occasionally almost hit a telephone pole. The ingrates don’t correct any of their behavior but get continually worse. Now imagine that instead of taking 14 hours the trip takes 40 years. I think if it had been me, right after I brought down the 10 commandments I might have hand chiseled a resignation letter to God. Moses obviously had an endless well of love for his people, constantly interceding on their behalf and wanting the best for them. Even though he was unable to enter the promised land, we see in scripture how he helped to prepare the leader for the generation to enter the promised land, Joshua. Joshua was Moses’ young aid and a warrior. Of all the Isrealites, Joshua gleaned the most from Moses by being a faithful servant and eventually surpassed Aaron, the right hand man of Moses.   Joshua led the Battle with the Amalekites, the  battle where Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ Arms. Joshua helped to with the battle, something that did not go unnoticed by God: 


13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”  15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.  (Exodus 17: 13-15)
 
We see Aaron become the ringleader to buld the golden calf for the people to worship causing God’s anger in Exodus 32. In response  Exodus 33:7-11 Moses went to the tent of meeting. The tent of meeting was outside the Isrealites camp where Moses would talk and abide with God. Joshua was the only person brave enough to enter with him, and stayed in the tent even when Moses left. He was the only one it seems that learned the importance of spending time with the Lord.
 
11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.  (Exodus 33:11)

We see how Moses declares before Israelites the heart of God that Joshua was Moses successor.

37 Because of you the LORD became angry with me also and said, “You shall not enter it, either. 38 But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it. 39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.  (Deuteronomy 1: 37-39)

 
21 At that time I commanded Joshua: “You have seen with your own eyes all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings. The LORD will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going. (Deuteronomy 3:21)
 
Finally we see transference of annointing from Moses to Joshua.
 
 9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses. (Dueteronomy 34:9)

 
God is calling us to leave a legacy of faith, help to prepare the hearts of minds of not only our contemporaries, but for the baton carriers that will finish the race.
 
 3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:3)
 
God is preparing all of you to impart his heart to this generation of Cambodian children. Year after year  you are tearing down strongholds and replacing them with love. When you  mix that love with their knowlege of scripture, what you are helping to produce are powerhouses that will be able to shout down spiritual Jerichoes in the minds and hearts of Cambodia and the world. I have heard your stories concerning these children and have watched how you come back transformed year after year. I know God will continue to do amazing things through you in the lives of these children. May God go before you and meet you in Cambodia. May you go in the confidence of Christ knowing that he will be moving through you.
 
24 The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face shine on you  and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. ( Numbers 6:24-26)
 
 
All the best to you!!! I want to hear about the trip when you return!!
 
-Kamaria

 
I want to share the song Son of Man with Tye Tribbet featuring John Owens, one of my favorite collaborations. 


Inspirational Song

Hello everyone,

Looks like I’m going to be an extra day with my email. This will be my last one as I know you guys will be departing over the next couple of weeks. I have a growing expectancy in my heart as we draw near to your departure. I am so excited I am about to burst. In the meantime listen to the song Loud Loud by Fred Hammond. I actually just heard it today and it made me want to dance.

-Kamaria

Encouragement from Kamaria…

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
   before you were born I set you apart;
   I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
 
 Remember Game Plan? I thought that was one of the greatest series ever preached because there is nothing greater than knowing God’s plan for your life. I used to be anxious about this, beating my head against the wall trying to figure out what I was called to do. Through the years parts have been revealed to me, and ironically as I have been forced into a season of stillness I have a clear direction and focus, and have discovered my purpose is directly connected to how God created me. As he continues to unfold my moments on Earth,  I don’t feel as if I am marking time anymore, I am moving toward the greatest expression God’s Love through me.
 
Over the week-end I had a chance to see Green Lantern who is my new favorite super hero. I was so excited I let out a cheer at the end of the movie! The movie gives a clear example of purpose and how you become equipped as you move forward to accept your calling. Last week I talked about  friendship with God. I believe that theme goes hand in hand with purpose. When you are at a place of knowing God and embracing his character he can reveal to you his plan for your life. 
 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
(2Timothy 2:20-21)
 
As many of you know it is challenging for me to be around animals, but there is a special place for my uncle’s dog Dottie. Dottie is a Papillon, a tiny species of dog known for their butterfly ears. Dottie is cute, but her ears didn’t develop like the other dogs. As a matter of fact when my uncle came to pick out a puppy she wasn’t with the dogs being sold, but was kept in another room. After seeing a parade of perfect little puppies, my uncle asked there were any other dogs that wouldn’t be champions that he could purchase. The owner went in the back and brought out Dottie. Dottie came out and jumped on the sofa next to my uncle, and when it was time to leave she jumped in his car without hesitation. My uncle is a retired Doctor so he would take Dottie around  to hospitals and nursing homes to help cheer up the patients. While I was in California I was pouring over  hundreds of pictures of Dottie and the people she touched. Two photos that stood out to me were of a woman that they thought was a deaf mute who began to speak when she was holding Dottie. My favorite was of a man that had been in a Coma for several weeks. My uncle and Dottie entered the room Dottie jumps up on the Hospital bed and put her head under the Man’s arm which started to move and you could see he was trying to figure out what was under his arm.  In a few days he regained full conscienceness.  I began to think of David and how he was the son God had chosen to be king, but his father Jesse didn’t even summon him initially when Samuel came to his home to anoint one of his sons to be king. 1 Samuel 16: 10-13. God still had his way. Nothing could stop David from receiving his destiny. It blows that mind that even a little dog like Dottie has a plan, and if she has a plan there is surely one for us.
Let’s look at Phillippians 2:13:
  
 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

I pray that as you are reading this that God would illuminate his heart to you, and that if God has shown you why you were created that you would be encouraged to go forth into your calling.

God bless you and have a good week!! -Kamaria
  

 
This week I picked the song That Name by Yolanda Adams, my favorite of hers. I pray that it draws you into worship the way it does me every time I hear it.
 

Song

Hey Everyone!!

There is no rhyme or reason for me sending this song, I just love it and wanted to share it with you. It’s Fred Hammond singing Awesome God. Fred Hammond was in the Group Commissioned with Marvin Sapp . Fred Later went on to for the Radical for Christ Jesus Choir. I hope you are blessed by this song, and hope you are doing well!!

-Kamaria

Encouragement from Kamaria…

Did you get a chance to listen to the Friend song by the Winans? I’m sure from that you know that I want to talk about the greatest friendship you could ever have, a friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I love how in the video you see them about to burst with the joy in the Lord. I knew I was going to talk about friendship this week but the focus changed slightly a couple of days ago I was awakened by the radio and the person speaking was encouraging people not to give immediately I knew I was to share about fighting for your relationship with Christ.

You hear on talk shows about fighting for relationships with husbands and wives, and there are books about fighting for time with family. After listening to that plea on the radio I started to think about what it means to truly press through to get the relationship we were meant to have. Truly the best thing you can do for any personal relationship is be sold out for Jesus Christ. I had an experience in college where I was praying with a friend in her dorm room. That night I felt the presence of God stronger than I have ever felt it before or since; he was almost tangible. I felt love that made my heart just melt. It was a thousand times greater than any love or acceptance I have ever felt. I intuitively knew that all my needs were met and I could have stayed there forever. When we finally stopped praying four hours had passed. I have been reflecting on that night this week and wondering why It has been so easy for me to let life overwhelm me. I have been caught up in pressure and what I can see. I Sometimes become like an Israelite forgetting my friendship with God and taking him for granted.

I have found there is a spiritual cry in each one of us that desires a closer relationship to God. Psalm 42:7 addresses this:

Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

There is a part of you that cries out for the living God. Only he can filll that space, and if you are not filling it with Christ you will feel an ache, a restlessness and dissatisfaction with life in general as you try to fill it with relationships, money, television, or anything that keeps your focus away from God.

I used to work in an office that received beautiful floral arrangements every week. One day a beautiful tulip broke away from the branch. I tried to save it because it was so beautiful and put it in a bowl of water. My efforts worked for a couple of days because it became disconnected it died. This reminds me of the metaphor the true vine in John 15:4:
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

I had a co-worker that was a beautiful Christian woman at my old job. She was beloved by the company so much that before she got married the Company had a bridal luncheon at an exclusive hotel the year before I joined the firm. Though we weren’t that close but her faith was evident, and we had several conversations about God and went to lunch occasionally. She was a member of an awesome Church with several of my friends. She was laid off about five years ago and never quite recovered. After she left the company I would see her occasionally and we would talk about getting together. I would think about contacting her but then would get busy and forget. I found out a couple of years ago that she died due to complications with bulimia. She was devastated by the layoff and had some things going on in her personal life that caused her to give up on life. I had no idea she was in such pain. I wish I could have spoken to her back then as the person I am today. I had no idea how tough her situation must have been, but now that I am in a similar situation understand. Her story could just have easily been mine, but somehow God’s grace I have been able to navigate through these challenges and trust he will continue to give me strength. It’s so easy to give up and want to throw in the towel. Sometimes thoughts come to mind when I am feeling my weakest; it is all I can do to just stand. I am staying accountable to Friends and family and have even been through counseling as things continued to get rough. I love the story of Blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10: 46-52:

46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging.
47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

One of the reasons I am so intense with my worship is that my heart is crying out to heaven for the presence of God.

The are many studies on Spiritual warfare. The greatest warfare is a life that is yeilded to God. James 4:7 :: Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

The greatest weapon is praise as I shared with you earlier in 2Chronicles 20:20-24.  Don’t focus to much on the Enemy and what he is doing, but focus on God becoming his friend. He will let you know the secrets of his heart and amazing things he is about to do before hedoes thim as in Revelation 4:1
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this

I have experienced that you begin to stand not because of stories people have told you, or being guilted into how you should feel, but because God becomes so real to you and your story becomes a walking epistle.

As I talked about in an earlier message. I reminded of the one of the Stories of Smith Wigglesworth, an incredible man of faith that performed many miracles in the 1920’s. He awakened one night to find Satan in his room. He was not shaken in even the slightest way but turned over and went back to sleep completely confident in the promises of God.  If you are interested look at www.smithwigglesworth.com. This website is a record of his faith walk and his life and sermons. It will encourage and build up your faith.

As always have a blessed week!! May you get a deeper revelation of what it means to be a friend of God and feel the true embrace of his spirit.

-Kamaria

The song today is God is Able by Smokie Norful. The first time I heard this song I was stunned. I’m not sure what his story is, but you can hear his heart crying out to God.